Mechanized Rapidobe

In addition to helping build your home, tractors also have lots of other uses around a homestead.
In addition to helping build your home, tractors also have lots of other uses around a homestead.

Abe from Vela Creations and I have been exchanging ideas about his new Rapidobe building system. The biggest strong point for rapidobe is its speed and ease of construction. You could speed the process along even more with a Bobcat or tractor to dump soil into the wall cavity, and then have several workers for tamping. Abe tamps the soil while standing inside the wall.

While the basic rapidobe system is plenty strong for most projects, here are a few suggestions for improving the process.
– Start with 2-3 courses of gravel-filled poly bags (gravel bag foundation) to raise the wall and reduce risk of moisture damage.
– Use materials that allow the wall to dry out and for moisture to pass through the wall.
– Tamp the sides of walls to flatten the surfaces and create a more appealing finish.

Abe is now planning to build a barn next month using some of these rapidobe methods (not the whole barn, but some of the retaining walls). He’s planning to video the process and report back on the results. If you would like to learn more or contact Abe, go to Vela Creations.
Image source: Mountain View Supply and Rentals, Inc.

5 thoughts on “Mechanized Rapidobe”

    • Similar concept except one is dirt cheap and the other is costly. The trade-off is rapidobe walls won’t be as perfectly flat without extra work. But most people have more time than money.

      3′ thick walls are overkill in my opinion. The extra wide foundation and extra roof materials are wasteful. 18″ thick walls with 1″-2″ insulation on the exterior is sufficient for most all climates.

  1. I have considered the machine route for Rapidobe. If you do this, you might want a pneumatic tamper to keep up with the loader. Also, you might leave some extra fabric on ode side of the wall to raise up and act as a funnel to help the loader fill the wall.

    I also recommend making curved wall for greater strength.

    Watch our blog for updates on the barn project.

  2. yes! good idea! if… your hands on a bobcat, and friends to tamp!
    when we don’t and yet want to build, just build however! bit by bit!

    • It might pay off to rent a tractor from a neighbor, etc. for a few days. This could save many days/weeks of hard work.


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